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2019 Honda Passport Review

The 2019 Honda Passport's powerful V6 engine, composed handling, and ample passenger and cargo space help it earn a high ranking in the midsize SUV class after a decade-plus hiatus from the market.

Pros & Cons

  • Spacious seats
  • Handsome cabin
  • Ample engine power
  • Decent off-roading capability
  • Some finicky infotainment controls

8.1

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.2
Performance: 7.3
Interior: 7.4
Safety: 9.3
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Is the Honda Passport a Good SUV?

The new Passport is a decent midsize SUV. It boasts a modern, classy cabin with two rows of spacious seats and a huge cargo hold. The standard V6 engine delivers peppy acceleration, and handling is well-rounded. This Honda has good safety and predicted reliability ratings, along with numerous standard driver assistance features.

The Passport is branded as an adventure-ready vehicle, but it's not made for hardcore off-roading as it lacks low-range four-wheel drive, hill descent control, and locking differentials. However, it can hold its own for light off-road duty. Still, fans of the original Passport probably won’t find this new mainstream, modern version as rough-and-tumble as its predecessor.

Should I Buy the Honda Passport?

Honda’s newest version of the veritable Passport boasts well-rounded appeal for SUV shoppers. It’s certainly worth a look if you want an agreeable daily commuter, a family vehicle, or a ute to take to the campsite.

However, this is a competitive class with plenty of rivals that offer different, and in some cases better, overall traits. If you’re looking for a roomy 3-row SUV, the Honda Pilot should check a lot of boxes. That model isn’t as capable off-road as the Passport is, but check out the Toyota 4Runner for some of the best trail-crawling abilities in a family-sized SUV.

Compare the Passport, Pilot, and 4Runner »

Should I Buy a New or Used Honda Passport?

Honda introduced the Passport in 1994 as its first SUV for the North American market. The vehicle’s inaugural run ended with the 2002 model. This new iteration of the Passport is vastly different from its predecessor, and as this is the first model year, you'll be hard-pressed to find a comparable used Passport.

We Did the Research for You: 23 Reviews Analyzed

Our goal is to provide you with the information you need to make car shopping a breeze. You'll find everything you need to know about this vehicle in our comprehensive Honda Passport review. It combines concrete data (like fuel economy estimates and cargo space dimensions) with professional evaluations from 23 automotive sources.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve been reviewing cars since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. We also award the Best Cars for the MoneyBest Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands on an annual basis. To ensure our impartiality, a third party handles our advertising, and we don't accept expensive gifts from automakers.

How Much Does the Honda Passport Cost?

The 2019 Honda Passport starts at $31,990, which is a little above average for a midsize SUV. The EX-L trim retails for $36,410, and the Passport Touring costs $39,280. Front-wheel drive is standard in those three trims, and all-wheel drive is optional for $1,900.

The top-of-the-line Elite trim starts at $43,680 and comes standard with all-wheel drive. That price tag is a little less than the high-end trims of many rivals.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Honda dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Honda deals page.

Honda Passport Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Honda Passport or Toyota 4Runner?

Unless off-road journeying is your primary concern, you’re better off avoiding the Toyota 4Runner. Like the Passport, the 4Runner is an adventure-ready two-row SUV, but its on-pavement ride is ponderous and clumsy, with lots of jostling from even small road bumps. Unlike the new Passport, the 4Runner looks and feels old inside. It hasn’t been redesigned in nearly a decade, and it lacks the modern safety features available in many rivals. Additionally, this Toyota’s cabin is full of cheap-feeling materials, and it’s more expensive than the base Honda by around $3,100. The Passport is the better SUV.

Which Is Better: Honda Passport or Honda CR-V?

Despite being a compact SUV, the Honda CR-V has nearly as much cargo and passenger room as its larger sibling, along with more rear-seat legroom. The CR-V also offers a handsome cabin and a serene ride, and its optional turbocharged four-cylinder engine feels peppy and energetic. The CR-V is more affordable too. Its top-level Touring trim costs about $750 more than the base Passport, and lower trims cost thousands less. On the other hand, the Passport has a lot more power, as well as more standard safety features. It’s a better off-roader too. These are both great SUVs, and picking the right one comes down to personal preference.

Which Is Better: Honda Passport or Honda Pilot?

The Honda Pilot is a great three-row SUV – it’s essentially a three-row version of the Passport. Both vehicles have the same engine and standard driver aids, as well as similar features lists. They have the same interior design and maximum towing capacity too. The Pilot has more seating space and cargo room, while the Passport is a better off-roader. Otherwise, these two are similar vehicles, so choosing between them is a matter of preference.

Compare the Passport, 4Runner, and CR-V »

Honda Passport Interior

How Many People Does the Passport Seat?

The 2019 Honda Passport seats five people. Seating space is excellent in both rows, and even tall passengers should have enough room. A few critics wish the seats were a little more comfortable, though.

Cloth upholstery comes standard, while leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, heated front and rear seats, power-adjustable front seats, and a heated steering wheel are available.

Passport and Child Car Seats

The Passport has three complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the system the second-highest rating of Acceptable for its ease of use.

All three of the tether anchors are hard to find. The lower anchors are set deeply in the seats, and it requires some force to attach the car-seat straps to the middle seat.

Passport Interior Quality

The Passport has a handsome, well-built cabin. Even plastic surfaces are of high quality and soft to the touch. Door panels are nicely padded too, contributing to an upscale atmosphere.

Passport Cargo Space

The 2019 Passport has 41.2 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and 77.9 cubic feet behind the front seats, including 2.5 cubic feet of storage space beneath the floor. Some rivals have more total space, but many of those are three-row SUVs. Among two-row SUVs, the Passport has above-average cargo room, surpassing classmates like the Nissan Murano and Hyundai Santa Fe.

Passport Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The base Honda Passport Sport features a 5-inch infotainment screen, Bluetooth, a USB port, and a seven-speaker sound system. Available tech upgrades include a navigation system, an 8-inch touch screen, a Wi-Fi hot spot, wireless phone charging, two more USB ports, satellite radio, HD Radio, a 10-speaker sound system, a moonroof, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration.

While a few critics had difficulty using some of the touch-sensitive infotainment buttons, they also praised the overall system for its easy-to-use physical controls and simple menu layout.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior » 

Honda Passport Performance

Passport Engine: Potent and Powerful

The new Passport comes standard with a 3.5-liter V6 engine good for 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. This is the same powertrain found in the larger Honda Pilot.

The Passport drives and accelerates with confidence, both from a stop and as you’re merging or passing at highway speeds. The standard nine-speed automatic transmission can be a little hesitant to downshift when you need more power, but it generally operates smoothly otherwise.

Passport Gas Mileage: Average

The new Passport gets an EPA-estimated 20 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. Those estimates are on par with most midsize SUVs, though some, such as the Nissan Murano, will save you money at the pump. For all-wheel-drive models, subtract 1 mpg from each figure.

Passport Ride and Handling: Composed Cruising

On-road, the Passport has a relaxed and comfortable ride. It remains composed around corners, and some critics even find the Passport slightly sporty. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available.

Passport Off-Roading

With no hill descent control, skid plates, or locking differentials, this SUV may not be the rough-and-tumble adventurer Honda markets it as, but the Passport is capable of light trail exploration. It has 8.1 inches of ground clearance plus available all-wheel drive. It also has an Intelligent Variable Torque Management system that offers several drive modes for various terrain.

Passport Towing Capacity

When properly equipped, this Honda can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

Read more about performance »

Honda Passport Reliability

Is the Honda Passport Reliable?

J.D. Power gives the Honda Passport a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five.

Honda Passport Warranty

The Passport has a limited warranty of three years or 36,000 miles and a powertrain warranty of five years or 60,000 miles.

Read more about reliability »

Passport Safety

Passport Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2019 Passport a five-out-of-five-star overall crash test rating. The SUV earned five stars in the side crash test and four stars in the frontal crash and rollover tests.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Passport the highest rating of Good in five out of six individual crash tests. A slightly lower rating of Acceptable was given in the passenger-side small overlap front test. The Passport’s standard front crash prevention features received top marks for their effectiveness. All the headlight setups that were tested earned the lowest score of Poor for how well they illuminate the road ahead.

Passport Safety Features

In addition to a rearview camera and automatic high beams, this SUV comes standard with the Honda Sensing suite of driver aids, which includes lane keep assist, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and a road departure mitigation system. Blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert are available, as are front and rear parking sensors.

Read more about safety »

Which Honda Passport Model Is Right for Me?

Honda offers the 2019 Passport in four trim levels: Sport, EX-L, Touring, and Elite. All trims come with a V6 engine and a nine-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is available in the three lower trims for an additional $1,900, and the Elite comes standard with AWD.

Most shoppers will want to step up to at least the EX-L trim for its added connectivity and comfort features. You’ll get an 8-inch touch screen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, and built-in Wi-Fi. The EX-L also adds leather upholstery and heated, power-adjustable front seats. Those additional amenities build on the base model’s long list of standard active safety features, which includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and lane keep assist.

Honda Passport Sport

The Honda Passport Sport has an MSRP of $31,990. It comes with a 5-inch infotainment screen, a seven-speaker stereo, a USB port, Bluetooth, cloth seats, push-button start, proximity keyless entry, tri-zone automatic climate control, fog lights, and alloy wheels. Standard safety features include a rearview camera, forward collision warning with brake assist, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, road departure mitigation, and adaptive cruise control.

Rear parking sensors are available for $500, and you can add a wireless phone charger for $225.

Honda Passport EX-L

The Honda Passport EX-L retails for $36,410. It builds off the Sport’s equipment list with an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, HD Radio, a Wi-Fi hot spot, two additional USB ports, leather upholstery, heated front seats, power-adjustable front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a power liftgate, a moonroof, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

The rear parking sensors and wireless phone charger are also available for this trim, and you can also get a hands-free liftgate for $300.

Honda Passport Touring

With an MSRP of $39,280, the Honda Passport Touring adds the hands-free tailgate, along with front and rear parking sensors, rear heated seats, a navigation system, a 115-volt outlet, and a premium 10-speaker stereo.

A heated steering wheel is available for $500.

Honda Passport Elite

The Honda Passport Elite starts at $43,680. It features just about everything you can get in this Honda, including a wireless phone charger, ventilated front seats, perforated leather seats, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Honda dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Honda deals page.

See 2019 Honda Passport specs and trims » 

The Final Call

The 2019 Honda Passport is a well-rounded vehicle that combines pleasing performance with the utility and comfort you expect from a midsize SUV. Whether you prioritize a classy and roomy cabin, a strong V6 engine, or light off-roading ability, this Honda is worth a look.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "If you like the Pilot but don’t need something quite so big, or if you need a daily livable SUV-type thing that can handle a climb to your Colorado cabin, the 2019 Passport is certainly worth a look. While it may not thrill in the conventional sense, this new Honda delivers the goods by doing its job almost perfectly." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The 2019 Honda Passport offers an excellent combination of comfort and capability without breaking the bank. It beats out vehicles such as the Nissan Murano and the Ford Edge when it comes to off-road capability, and it overshadows the Toyota 4Runner when it comes to on-road comfort and in-car tech. If you're in the market for a midsize SUV, put this one right at the top of your short list." -- Edmunds
  • … the Passport is capable, well-equipped and incredibly roomy. The Passport should also lure new buyers to the Honda brand thanks to its wide-spread appeal. Unlike the CR-V and Pilot, the Passport doesn't have the stigma of being a family SUV, so it should have a better chance at luring empty nesters. But even though it's not necessarily a family SUV, the Passport should also appeal to small families that don't need a third row but want something a little bit bigger and a little more capable than a CR-V. The 2019 Honda Passport is an extremely solid all-rounder, and we suspect it won't be long until you see them all over. " -- Left Lane News
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2019 Honda Passport

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